A few SEAN folk went out to Picton recently for the quarterly meeting of Rivers SOS, an umbrella group for community groups campaigning to protect their local rivers, mainly from mining. Here’s a report-back from Ann-Marie of UTS!

RiversSOS meeting on May 23rd was heaps cool – about 40people from all over the state including Mudgee, Stroud, Wollongong, Lithgow, Sutherland and other places – Uncle Chappie was there too.  Main ideas to come out of the meeting were:
  • Report backs from all people there about the what each local RiversSOS group/member was up to: many groups are campaigning against coal mines and proposed coal seam gas mining by a whole heap of companies- BHP, Xtrata, an Indian company caled Gujarat NRE.  Their campaigns are on the impact of coal mining on rivers – causes cracking, pollution, consumes large amounts of water. 
  • Same story across the state – state government pushing coal aggressively
  • Proposed action down south – suggested Helensburgh or Wollongong. Perhaps to be combined with climate camp? in August
  • Wenny put a call out for other climate camp target suggestions- something for RiversSOS to think about but no specific suggestions
  • They were going to try and crash the ‘mining rocks’ party in dungog and create a disturbance – the party was part of the dungog film festival. Many locals were not impressed that it was sponsored by the minerals council
  • RiversSOS happy to have students there- interested in working with students
  • Interesting discussion about diversity of views in riversSOS and climate movement.  RiversSOS general view is that they are anti mining that affects rivers, not anti coal mining altogether.  Recognition that other groups may be specifically anti coal mining but still can be allies in campaigns.
  • The crew at the April meeting out the front of the Rivers SoS caravan in Picton
    The crew at the May 09 meeting out the front of the Rivers SoS caravan(!) in Picton, NSW